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Building a New Computer: 32-bit or 64-bit? Intel or AMD?

I currently have an ASUS P4P800 Motherboard, 2 GBs of RAM, and an Intel 2.8GHz HT CPU overclocked to 3.36GHz; it's about two years old now and is still faster than most computers. I plan on making this computer a linux box on my router's DMZ. So, I want another desktop.

I know 64-bit is starting to pick up, but it is extremely expensive. Is Windows' Vista going to support 32-bit and 64-bit processing? Are all new factory computers going to be 64-bit in the near future? If I stay with a 32-bit motherboard and CPU, am I going to regret it in year?

Of the new Intel processors, I believe D and EE are 64-bit, correct? So, I would need a 64-bit compatible motherboard. I've never dealt with AMD chipsets, but I hear they starting to get more "powerful" than Intel chipsets. Should I go with Intel or AMD?

As you can probably tell, I'm very lost on what to do and what kind of CPU & MB to put in my new system. I am not gamer, but I do a lot of multi-tasking and like having a powerful computer. Any information or recommendations on what kind of CPU & MB to buy would be greatly appreciated... as well as the pros/cons of taking a 32-bit route versus a 64-bit route.

I want to build the new computer for around $1000-$1200, but I know this probably possible if I take the 64-bit route. Am I better off waiting for another 6 months or so to see where 64-bit technology is headed (and the prices of 64-bit CPU dropping)? Or should I just go ahead and build a sweet 32-bit system? I want to build a desktop, like my current one, that will still be extremely fast for years to come. Thanks!
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"I want to build a desktop, like my current one, that will still be extremely fast for years to come."

You answered your own question :) In this case go with the 64-bit option.

I would go with a socket 939 board and processor - the AMD option - you will get a lot more bang for your buck.

The socket 939 boards appear to have a long life in front of them, with even the new X2 processors taking advantage of the technology.

Go for an Athlon 64 - whatever you can afford, then when the time comes you can always upgrade to an Athlon64 X2 (Dual-core). The good thing is that the Athlon 64's also run in 32bit mode, so you've got no worries.

Windows Vista should support 32 and 64 bit, but there is gong to be more of a push for 64 bit, not to mention Vista will experience a considerable performance boost with the 64bit technology.

I would go for socket 939 and an AMD Processor.


damijimAuthor Commented:
This motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131540
and this CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103529

should work well together, correct?

This combination would still be slowler than my current desktop (as I've listed the specs above).

I've also noticed that the ASUS AMD MB's don't use DDR2 RAM, why not? Isn't DDR2 RAM the future?
I echo zerosoma's sentiments and have been putting together just such machines for my software development company.  Specifically, I get Athlon64s with the "Venice" core and motherboards with nVidia chipsets due to their good repute.

Through Newegg I put together systems with the above plus 1GB RAM, 250GB SATA drive, WinXP, lower end video, AND a ViewSonic or similar 17" LCD monitor for under $1000 (just).
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damijimAuthor Commented:
Is DDR2 an Intel thing? All 64-bit motherboards that support AMD processors seem to use DDR 400...
(how's this for real-time!?)

Yes, your combo above will work.  Can't help you with the memory though.

And I use a lesser CPU - AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 2000MHz HT.  You blew my budget.
damijimAuthor Commented:
I think I have enough information to move forward. Thanks Both!

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